With Ertz trade, Philadelphia bids farewell to one of its all-time greats

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) celebrates his touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the Philadelphia Eagles traded three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for rookie cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick.

It wasn’t shocking news that the Eagles bid farewell to the veteran tight end, but that hasn’t made it any easier for fans. Ertz is Philadelphia sports royalty here in the City of Brotherly Love—both for his work on and off the field—and he will certainly be missed.

“Zach Ertz built a special legacy in Philadelphia,” Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said, in a statement. “Talented, tough, and passionate, he helped to establish our team’s culture and played a vital role in our success over the years. Zach created so many memories that will live on forever.”

The 30-year old spent his entire professional career with the Birds, catching 579 passes for 6,267 yards and 38 touchdowns, including famously catching the game-winning TD in Super Bowl LII—helping the Eagles win their first Super Bowl title in Philadelphia history.

“What an amazing journey it’s been. I did the best I could everyday and I can leave knowing that,” Ertz said during an emotional press conference last week.

He is considered by many to be one of the best tight ends in Eagles’ history. However, his impressive work in Philadelphia spans far beyond the field, thanks to the Ertz Family Foundation, a nonprofit he founded alongside his wife, Julie.

The world champion husband and wife duo—Zach with the Eagles and Julie as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team—launched various initiatives throughout the city since their nonprofit was established in 2018, including grant-making programs that fund local charities, as well as a crowdfunding mission to help those living in poverty.

His farewell is certainly bittersweet—Ertz is leaving the 2-5 Eagles to join the 5-0 Cardinals—with local sportscasters, players and the Eagles’ top brass showing their love and support this weekend as Ertz packs his bags and heads to Arizona.

“He will always be a member of the Eagles family, not only because of what he accomplished on the field, but also because of the wonderful person, dedicated leader, and exemplary role model that he was for nine seasons in Philadelphia,” Lurie added. 
Ertz said his foundation will continue its work here in Philadelphia, saying “This is where we want to make an impact.”
“This is home. Philadelphia is home.”

 

 

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